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Heritage and hope

November 18, 2009

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  <span class="field-credit">
    Norman Ng for Mercy Corps  </span>
    Photo: Norman Ng for Mercy Corps

It has been a year and a half since the devastating Wenchuan earthquake struck China. Being half Chinese, I felt particularly impacted by this event. Many decades ago my Tai Tai (great grandmother, also Taipo) emigrated to Hawaii from Macau, China. While Macau is not part of Sichuan Province, after the earthquake I couldn't help but wonder what distant relatives of mine might have been affected by the disaster.

One thing I did not have to wonder about was how to help. I knew that Mercy Corps was working with local partners to provide immediate aid to the survivors, and that the organization would continue to offer ongoing support to the people of China, long after the topic disappeared from news headlines. Recently the San Jose Mercury News posted a video featuring children dealing with post-earthquake trauma. Naturally, after witnessing such devastation, children found it hard to concentrate in their daily lives. With images of crumbled schools and lost friends in their minds, they acted out in class and had trouble sleeping at night.

It is wonderful to see how Mercy Corps' recovery programs are truly helping them cope so that they can enjoy being children and continue getting the most out of their education.

While China is experiencing significant economic growth, there are still many people who have limited access to jobs, land and public services. Since 2001, Mercy Corps has been addressing these needs by working with local partners. As Thanksgiving approaches, I am sincerely grateful for Mercy Corps' ongoing programs in China, and for all the people whose generosity has made these programs possible.